NEC Corporation (NEC; TSE: 6701) and NEC Asia Pacific Pte. Ltd. today announced the opening of NEC’s first Advanced Centre for Experimentation (ACE), aiming to facilitate the company’s global Research & Development capabilities.
The ACE is strategically located in Singapore, with its favorable research ecosystem and infrastructure, and forms a key component of NEC’s growth strategy in the Asia Pacific region. Operated by NEC Laboratories Singapore (NLS), the ACE leverages NEC’s core technologies and advanced solutions, such as artificial intelligence (AI) and ICT platforms, to create new value and contribute to a safer, smarter living environment for people and communities.
The facility allows co-creation of solutions and provides a “living lab” for proof-of-concepts for advanced solutions that help customers and partners, including governments and enterprises, in areas such as public safety, transportation and healthcare. This enables close collaboration with NEC researchers in a real world environment, and makes it possible to clearly understand the benefits of new solutions before commercial deployment and operation.
In conjunction with the opening of the ACE, NLS, which currently is staffed with 33 researchers/solution engineers, will hire an additional 50 researchers/solution engineers within the next three years, mainly specializing in AI, the Internet-of-Things, Cognition and cyber security, thereby contributing to the further development of Singapore’s R&D talent pool.
“We are delighted that NEC has chosen to establish their ACE in Singapore. This investment by NEC is a strong testament of Singapore’s talent pool and innovation capabilities to drive the digital transformation of industries. The ACE will enrich Singapore’s digital ecosystem, and will foster new partnerships for the co-creation and commercialization of new solutions from Singapore,” said Tung Meng Fai, Director, Infocomms and Media, Singapore Economic Development Board.
“The establishment of the ACE is a significant milestone for us as it is the first of its kind for NEC globally. NEC is investing more than S$100 million in the Asia Pacific region over the next five years mainly for research and development, and the set-up of the ACE in Singapore is the heart of this investment. This experiment facility underscores NEC’s strong commitment to business in Asia Pacific,” said Tetsuro Akagi, Senior Vice President of NEC Corporation and Chief Executive Officer of NEC Asia Pacific. “Leveraging NEC’s technological innovation in AI and big data analytics, we hope to innovatively help governments and enterprises across the region in their digital transformation journey.”
Established in September 2013, NLS aims to accelerate time-to-market of NEC’s solutions for society. NLS core expertise is in the study of social concerns jointly with government, enterprises, and research institutes, and proposing a combination of advanced information communication technologies to form new solutions to solve a broad range of business and social challenges.
NLS has conducted joint research projects with partners and customers around the world. This includes SMRT Buses, a public bus transport operator in Singapore. SMRT Buses and NEC launched Singapore’s first telematics monitoring system consisting of eco-drive sensors that monitor and analyze bus captains’ driving behavior in 2014. This has led to another innovative project with SMRT Buses to develop the Professional Learning and Training Management System (PROLEARN). PROLEARN provides a comprehensive approach to constantly monitor, proactively manage, and provide customized training for drivers with relevant operational and industry-specific competencies using NEC’s big data analytics technology.